Posted by: watchmancurtis | November 18, 2009

Great End Times Revival Or A Great Falling Away…Which Is It?

I’ve had this discussion with several people recently and the topic just keeps coming back.   Will there be a great worldwide revival as so many teach today?   If not, will there be a falling away of believers as we near the return of Christ?  I also know some people that say that both will happen.  So which is it?

First, I want to say right off the bat that I do not believe in a great worldwide revival as many teach it today.  Does that mean I’m against revival?  Of course not.  I just don’t see it in scripture the way it is taught.  I’m concerned that we have had a blending of teachings about the End Times and in many cases we have not taken the time to sort them out.  I can hardly turn on the tv to a Christian channel and not hear about the great revival that is about to break forth.  It sounds good.  Who wouldn’t want the world to accept Christ?  The problem is that the Bible paints a very different picture.

Those who teach that there will be a great worldwide revival in the last days have a very different Eschatological (End Times) view than I do.  Many of them are Preterist (believing that Revelation and other prophecies have already been fulfilled).  Many of them are also Postmillenial in their teachings as well.  This means that we are in the Millenium right now.  They teach that we have a mandate to take the nations for Jesus so that He can come back.  They envision a world that gets better and better as the world becomes Christianized and once the church has finally matured to a certain point THEN Christ can return.  The frustrating thing about this is that very few actually admit that they are Preterist or Post Millenial.  Many, but not all, of the leaders in the charismatic world hold to this teaching.  There are many also who are not Charismatic that follow it as well.

It would take me a very long time to address this topic in depth, but today I just want to give you what I believe is the scriptural perspective on this subject.  I’m not a defeatist.  I don’t think that because the world is going to get worse and worse that we should sit idly by and say “there isn’t anything we can do about it so let’s just hide.”  I don’t consider myself to be a doom and gloom guy.  I believe in mission work and spreading the gospel.  I teach that we should set the captives free and do all we can for the Kingdom, living in light of the return of Christ.  While worldwide revival sounds nice, I just can’t line up the Word with it.  Here are just a few verses that point me in a different direction.

  • 2 Thessalonians 2:3 “Let no one in any way deceive you, for it (the Day of the Lord and our being gathered to Him/rapture) will not come unless the apostacy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction.”  This verse says that there will be a time where many will fall away from the faith before Christ returns.
  • Matthew 24:10-12 “At that time many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another.  Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many.  Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold.”  Jesus made it very clear that the opposite of revival will be the norm.
  • Revelation 13:3 “I saw one of his heads as if it had been slain, and his fatal wound was healed.  And the WHOLE earth was amazed and followed after the beast.”
  • Luke 18:8 “when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?”
  • 2 Timothy 3:1-5 “But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come.  For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power”
  • 2 Peter 3:3-4  “Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming?”
  • 1 Timothy 4:1 “But the Spirit explicitly says that in latter times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons..”
  • Revelation 13:7  “It was also given to him (Antichrist) to make war with the saints and to overcome them, and authority over EVERY tribe and people and tongue and nation was given to him.”

I personally, can’t reconcile these verses with a great world wide revival that many teach today.  Now at the same time I do believe that in the midst of persecution and difficult times that the church will do remarkable things.  I don’t have a “Sky is falling” mentality.  In fact I would consider it a great honor to live and proclaim the name of Jesus in the midst of all the evil going on around me.

One last note is that when Jesus commissioned us to “make disciples of all nations”, He was not telling us to rule them or that we would convert the nations.  The Greek word for nations, as used here, is ethnos which means a group of people.  It is talking about individuals not geographical countries.  There are a lot of good things going on throughout the world and I certainly do not want to diminish that.  Missionaries are sacrificing their lives to share the gospel.  The church is overcoming some already difficult times.  Persecution in China has caused a great growth among the Body of Christ there.  I see much the same type of revival taking place during the 70th Week of Daniel as the church is made spotless.  I do not, however, see Christians taking over the world so that Jesus can then return.

My warning today is to be careful not to mix and blend teachings on the End Times.  Know what you believe.  If you don’t know what you believe you will likely be tossed to and fro and may end up with a cafeteria style Eschatology.  You will have a little bit of everything.  I pray that truth will come forth in our churches and in our lives.   Any thoughts, comments or disagreements (in love) are welcome.   Be blessed.

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Responses

  1. I pray we all can have revelation and understanding of “Truth” and know what we believe based on “Truth”, not based on reasoning and thinking. Much to think about. Great article!

  2. Truth is all that matters. Thanks!

  3. I’ve got to run right now, but I will get back to you later this afternoon. I love this subject.

  4. The one true gospel is the Christ, Yeshua of Nazareth, died for our sins according to the scriptures, He was buried and He rose again the third day according to the writings of the prophets. This gospel is rejected in our day and hour. Yeshua said, Search ye the scriptures for in them ye think ye have eternal life, it is they which testify of Me. The falling away has already occurred and the man of sin, the antichristos, the fasle prophet has been revealed. “The day of Christ is at hand!”

    Daniel

    • Daniel- Thanks for dropping by! While there is much I agree with in what you wrote, it is hard for me to see that the falling away has already come and the antichrist and false prophet have been revealed. I would be curious as to who or what you see them as. Also, if you could show me how the antichrist was destroyed at the second coming of Christ (2 Thessalonians 2:8) I would appreciate it. Thanks.

  5. Yes, I also believe in a revival, per Romans 9-11.

    • T.C.R- I appreciate you stopping by and taking the time to comment. It would help me a lot if you could explain exactly what you see in Romans 9-11 that points to a Great End Times Revival. If you are referring to the revival of Israel as they recognize Jesus as the Messiah then yes I am with you. I just don’t see support for a world-wide revival in scripture. Thanks.

      • I don’t think there can be a distinction. The “revival” of Israel will go hand-in-hand with the revival among the Gentiles. Again, “world-wide,” I can’t say. But, it’s going to be good for the members of the body of Christ.

  6. When Paul wrote 2 Thes 2 the antichristos was not revealed. When John wrote 1 John, in particular chapter 2 verse 18, the false prophet was not revealed. But when John wrote Revelation he said in chapter 1, verse 8, “the time is at hand”. According to 2 Thes for a man to say this according to spirit and truth the falling away must have already occurred and the man of sin revealed. John says in Revelation, that Yeshua says hates the deeds of those who follow Nicolas. Nicolas was the antichristos of that generation of judgment. There is no other witness in the writings of the apostolos to Nicolas other than one of the first diakonos of assembly. When judgment came he would have been an old man, above reproach, but a betrayer according to the purpose of God. Nicolas perished in the judgment that fell upon Yerushalem in 70 AD. I have written much of my understanding in the Christ freely at habasar.wordpress.com.

    • Habasar- I’m assuming that you are referring to Nicolas, the deacon of Antioch. Please correct me if I’m wrong. I really can’t see him fulfilling the prohecies of the antichrist. We know very little about him to begin with. While a couple of the early church fathers do place him as the leader of the Nicolaitans, there is no proof at all that he was the antichrist. When did he place himself in the temple of God and proclaim to be God? (2 Thessalonians 2:4) What signs and wonders did he do? (2 Thessalonians 2:9) When did he place a mark on everyone and restrict buying and selling of those against him? When did he make war with the saints? The second coming did not happen in 70 AD and Nicolas was not destroyed by the return of Christ. Why did the early church (including John) not write about this? I personally don’t believe the book of Revelation was written until 95 or 96 AD. Even if I’m wrong and it was written earlier, you would think that John would have been telling people that Nicolas indeed was the one he was writing of. I would think that there would be some evidence that this man fulfilled the prophecies regarding him? I went to your website and read quite a few of your articles. Correct me if I’m wrong, but are you claiming that the movie “The Passion of the Christ” is the image of the beast? This seems highly unlikely to me. I hope I’m not sounding too aggressive here, but I just see no basis for Nicolas to be the antichrist. Be blessed.

  7. You ask many questions. An antichristos is a false prophet. The anitchristos is “the false prophet” in a generation of judgment. He who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God is the son of perdition, the betrayer. Judas in the generation of Yeshua. Nicolas in the generation of the judgment of Yerushalem following, and “the antichrist” in this generation of judgment we are in, the time of the Gentiles (nations) is fulfilled. The signs and wonders of Nicolas were false conversions, as it is in our day. The mark spoken of in Revelation speaks about the judgment of the Gentiles which comes afterwards when Revelation was written. In the generation of judgment there is a time when judgment is inevitable and it is these who have believed a lie. God gave them over to strong delusion. The book of Revelation has to be written before 70 AD or John is a false prophet according to 2 Thes for he writes, “the time is at hand!” The Passion of Christ image is a lie, and all who accept either by purchase or intent have accepted a lie.

  8. Habasar- Thanks for taking the time to answer all of my questions. While I don’t reach the same conclusions, I do pray that you will be blessed. Thanks again.

  9. In this generation of judgment to not walk according to truth is to perish in the judgment of God. “The day of Christ is at hand!”

  10. Peter- I know you are in a different camp than many who believe in a worldwide revival. The ones I take issue with are the ones that teach that Christ cannot return until the world is christianized. They are the Kingdom Now/Dominionists. Having said that I just cannot get around the verses that say that the whole world will follow the Antichrist and will worship him. Yes I think the true church will do wonderful things and I do believe that many will be saved, but I think many more will fall away or resist the Word. I would be curious as to what scriptures you use to support a large revival though. Most people who teach about a great revival are post-millenial in their beliefs. They teach about Joel’s Army, Latter Rain and the Great Harvest at the End of the Age (which is the rapture and not a revival). I don’t see that description fitting you at all. So maybe you have some verses that I’m not aware of. I guess Pre-Tribbers also teach that after the rapture there will be a great revival of those Left Behind. Is that how you are seeing the revival? Since I’m premil and prewrath I don’t see it through either of those lenses. I’m ready to get to chapter 6 of Revelation already. :)

  11. [...] to the other issue which I have already blogged about here http://watchmancurtis.wordpress.com/2009/11/18/great-end-times-revival-or-a-great-falling-away-which…  There are several within our group that feel strongly that there will be a great end times [...]

  12. This is a particularly contentious subject. You have quoted some compelling verses and therein lies the answer.

    The Apostasy (2Thess 2:3) actually speaks of a great end times revival and a falling away. It is not an either or situation. There is going to be a falling away from the true church and sound doctrines (1 Tim 4:1) then there will a revival of sorts but it is going to be based on false doctrines (Matt 24: 10-12). People would prefer to have their ears tickled rather than know the truth (2Tim 3: 1-5). This will give rise to a parallel counterfeit doctrine closely resemblembling the truth but not the truth (2 Pet 3: 3-4).

    To recap, the apostasy is the falling away from true doctrines and an adoption of counterfeit doctrines. It is on a worldwide scale and it has already begun, just look at the proliferation of Prosperity Ministries, the expansion of other forms of worship like Islam, Hinduism, Buddism etc.

    As Christians we have been called to make disciples of all nations according to the Great Commission. We must remember that it is the sovereign right of God to call men to faith, not Christians. We are charged to take that believer whom God called and teach him about the gospel.

  13. The scriptures are clear, a revival will spread across the earth when the Holy Spirit is poured which will take place near the end of the 7 year tribulation. But a ‘falling away” will also take place and is taking place right now just prior to Christ’s return to rapture the church. The greatest departure from truth and the church is happening on a globally today. And as churches are devastated by the falling away home or underground churches will begin to grow in great numbers.

    We as believers must work to bring back those who have fallen back to Christ. This is the modern day commission. We can’t allow believers to stumble or become apostate.

    Let’s spend our time and effort getting the fallen back to Christ!

    So how do we do that?

  14. Hello Watchman, I hope this will reach you I don’t make it a habit to converse with Christians on this forum normally but I stumbled across your site. I have watched for many years as the Christian world has spun all sorts of theories about the end times as you have mentioned and they have attempted to make bible prophesy fit their own theory rather than the contrary. It is so nice to see someone like you speak the truth with such humility. I think that God has his hand on you. I am not a practicing Christian as such but I certainly believe in the truth, which is Jesus of course. But I have to say that I find it strange how so many Christians believe that we are now in the end times and yet are supposedly waiting for this all too familiar event of the antichrist to arise out of the blue and a large percentage of the world population will all of a sudden follow him and accept the mark of the beast.For the beast to be able to rule all nations, firstly there would have to be a massive take over of all of the nations by force to achieve this, and that is highly unlikely because the masses would not worship the beast if it were by force. So then for such a system of voluntary following to be possible it would be a massive undertaking of an organized network of many people in many nations with a common goal to subvert the people of each nation and influence them to take away the sovereignty of that country to accept the new currency that the Antichrist will create so that no man may buy or sell without it. I think that you are all correct that we are in the end times. But does any of this ring a bell, this kind of bringing together of the nations. Didn’t man try that once before at the tower of babel where God struck them with different tongues. It has been happening for at least 50 years right under all of our noses and is increasing its momentum. Our friends are not really our friends and our enemies are not really our enemies.
    Subversion is an ancient skill learned by an ancient race of people. The best way to destroy ones enemy is from within. Trojan Horse springs to mind. The system of the beast is right before our eyes. We have eyes yet we do not see, we have ears but we do not hear, and to say that none of us, even the strongest Christians haven’t become indoctrinated into thinking as the beast wants us to is wishful thinking. The people who will usher in the antichrist have been waiting a long time for the right moment and I believe that time is not too far away but it has been a plan in the making for a very long time and it will not just happen as some evolutionary mechanism of bible prophesy. It lies in the hearts of evil men to enslave humanity through mind and body to the will of satan. Anyway thats all I will say for now.

    • Zak, I am thankful that you posted your thoughts. I agree. Most paradigm shifts do not happen overnight. They are gradual shifts that eventually lead us far from where we started. It is so important that we know the truth and stand up for truth. I also agree that there has been a plan for a VERY long time to put these things into place. In my opinion we are rapidly approaching the time where this plan will be put into motion. We live in interesting and exciting (for those who know the truth and trust in God) times. I pray you will continue to drop by and share your thoughts. Blessings!

  15. Good messages, it grows the heart that yern for the truth. Thanks.

    • I appreciate the encouragement. Thanks for stopping by!


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